Saturday, March 27, 2010

Domo - Arigato, Mr. Merckx-aboto

It was probably only inevitable that my bike's purity would become comprised. I started out with Shimano as the gateway components but over the years Sram has worked its dirty (and cheaper) little parts into my gruppo. Campy bikes won't even lean against mine, and when I told my mechanic that I was into parts-swapping, he said he wouldn't judge me. But he raised his eyebrows, and spent a lot of time washing his hands after working on my bike.

But with all things kinky and bike-related, I like to know what I'm getting into. Sure, "Sram" sounds like an Eastern European pastry while "Shimano" is more like how the Japanese might describe a natural break as in "excuse me, I must shimano before we get to the feed zone." And "Campagnolo" is Italian for "I've got a  shiner legs than you and wear as much white as possible."  Campie also infers that you prefer wool jerseys, sometimes fashion your hair into a mullet as to get a better wind blown look, and might still have toe straps and leather shoes.

Eddy would never use anything that wasn't made by a Giovanni or a Leonardo.

Getting down to the gritty details of my gruppo, Sram wins in the sense that  its marketing departing chose real words to describe its products. Sure "Force" and "Rival" are simplistic but they're creative strong images like this of Jan Ullrich's gut-busting face. Now that is a picture of FORCE.

Don't use the bathroom after Jan. He doesn't light a candle.

But what about Ultegra? Dura-Ace? Tiagra? Sora? I did some research and all Shimano tells me is that Ultegra is "a solid performer," which also sounds like an Ullrich bowel movement.  Dura-Ace gets all the quality marketing attention with this campaign of Shimano-Yumeya. According to the website, "yumeya" means "dream workshop," which may be another phrase that is lost in translation. Or maybe Shimano HQ pipes in some Gary Wright songs to inspire creativity. However, looking up Dura-Ace in an online Kanji dictionary I got "hairpiece or wig."

I think I'll stick with what I can understand. Unless I decide to pervert my new Sram gruppo with these colorful KCNC brakes.

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